Overlanders: Ukrainian Bakeries

>> Saturday, October 01, 2005

Russian/Ukrainian baked goods: Something of a mystery to me. You go into a bakery over here (By the way, this is also a very loose phrase here; ?going into a bakery? since for the most part a bakery consists of a couple of shelves here and there amongst other edibles, or any other goods for that matter, be it raw meat or whatnot. I will try to touch on that subject at a later time) and view the offering of cakes, pastries, and et cetera. They ALL look absolutely delicious, but looks can be very, very deceiving. Some very cakes appear moist and flavorful, but when you actually bite into them you find that they are as hard as biscotti and not quite as tasty. Even the frosting is hard and brittle. And it?s not because the cake has been sitting out for too long, either, (although I have no way of truly testing that theory) because I?ve tasted freshly-finished cakes that are nothing but crunchy shells. It baffles me.

On the other hand, you can find some here that are just ?get in my belly? scrumptious. Leilani?s cake last night was, for the most part, one of those. It was a basic, round, yellow-type cake with a center layer and frosting, with some kind of nuts on the outside edges. I could do away with the nuts, since they didn?t seem to taste much at all. The cake itself was standard (with the exception of the very bottom layer, which strangely enough tasted like FISH. I just didn?t eat that part from then on), but the filling and top frosting were the parts that I couldn?t get enough of. It was some kind of caramel-like frosting/filling made from sweetened/condensed milk and just makes you drool like Homer Simpson to think about it. MMMMmmmagllglglllllll.

And of course there is always the amazingly-common, ultimately-tantalizing wafer cookie that I mentioned before. It is inexplicable why in America there is nothing even relatively close to how excellent a cookie they have over here. In fact, the wafer-cookie offering presented in America verges on a level that can only be described as insulting when compared to that of Ukraine. In America the wafer cookies are like paste-filled cardboard, whereas here they are butter-cream chocolate- or vanilla- filled heavenly bars of supreme temptation. Can you have only a bite? Definitely not? Is one cookie enough? Hardly. If faced with a stack of these cookies, the only way to win the game is not to play.


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